Lena Pascoe

MUSINGS- Seasons changing, Ayurveda and Vata

MUSINGS- Seasons changing, Ayurveda and Vata

Lena Pascoe

ayurveda, nature, vata, well being, yoga
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MUSINGS- Seasons changing, Ayurveda and VataThe change from summer to autumn always feels like a significant one for me. For me it represents a time of great change. It's a special time of year. The leaves on the trees slowly transforming from various shades of green to reds, oranges and yellows. Squirrals have been active, busily gathering and storing away for the coming winter months.

The trees and their glorious array of colours. Many are almost bare now. I'm always amazed by the fact that the closer they come to falling from the trees, the more magnificent the colours become. Ahh..the trees...I find them astoundingly beautiful all year round.

I cycle through a local park regularly to get to my various destinations. On many occasions I just have to stop and pause taking a few moments to be still and simply gaze at the beauty around me.

Nature does it's thing as it always does. Another stage in its continual cucle of life. A lesson in going with the flow. Letting go....We could learn a lot from nature, don't you think?

Then there's the transition from autumn to winter. The weather can be very changeable. The winds are often high. From the Ayurvedic school of thought Autumn is represented by Vata dosha. The other two doshas are Pitta and Kapha, something we can delve into another time.

Vata is present in what is visible in our environment: movement, unprecdictable weather, the wind. Vata is a combination of the elements Air and Space.

Have you noticed any changes that affect you at this time of year? Maybe a shift in your mood where they can be quite changeable , perhaps you get anxious, agitated or feel uncertain? Does your skin or lips start to feel dry? Do you find that your decion-making capabilities desert you temporarily, or that you struggle to focus on completing one task at a time? Or perhaps your sleep pattern changes where you might experience light or disturbed sleep, or worst still insomnia rears its head? These could be signs that you're experiencing a vata imbalance.

Other symptons and effects of a vata imbalance may include:Fatigue, sensitivity to cold, rough skin, achy joints, stiffness, feeling ungrounded.....

Can you relate to any of these symptoms?

Because I'd become aware of these symptoms becoming more prevalent at this time of year I decided to start keeping a diary as a way of documenting the various changes I experience, including my nails becoming brittle all of a sudden (another symptom), and what I might do to combat them.

There's lots of advice that you can source in dealing with a vata imbalance, however here's a few simple things that you can easily incorporate into your daily lifestyle:

Eat root vegetables. They grow beneath the ground and guess what? They’re grounding and can help you feel rooted.😊. It makes sense, yes? Think about how you feel when you eat a bowl of soup containing the likes of carrots, parsnips and other root veggies, think thick stews too.

There's something for me that’s grounding and nourishing about smoothies. I love green smoothies and include spinach,  celery, cucumber, beetroot (yep another veggie that grows beneath the ground), with some banana for added sweetness. I also add Ashwagandha which is a medicinal herb with multiple health benefits. It can reduce anxiety, stress and help fight depression. Other powders I might add are wheatgrass, reishi, spirulina which also have a variety of benefits.

Spices like cumin, coriander and fennel have a warming effect and are good for the digestive system too. 

Do yoga that will help you feel grounded. It could be poses where you could be standing or seated, where you get a sense of fully connecting with earth, where you feel stable, where you feel held. I love balancing asanas for this reason some of which can be challenging, they however bring focus, increase concentration as well as instil a sense of calm. You can probably tell that I’m a fan of balancing asanas/poses. 

I'd also suggest breath work or pranayama. One of my favourites that I find hugely beneficial is durgha pranayama, the 3-part breath. Quite simply its amazing if you need to a reset, or need to instil a sense of calm and balance. There is also Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing which has a calming and balancing effect on the left and right hemisphere of the brain, soothing and balancing the nerves and the mind.

I'd suggest there's alot to be said for following and trusting your instinct and follow your gut. Think about some of the things that leave you feeling nourished. For instance, I get a real sense of connection when I place my hands on my body to self-massage, do breathing exercises or meditate.

You are your own teacher- follow your own instinct. Innately, you know what you need <3

                 

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